Scottsdale teacher arrested for alleged child prostitution
CHANDLER, Ariz. (KSAZ) - A Scottsdale teacher has been arrested, accused of trying to pay for sex with a minor.
Police say he was caught in an undercover sting where they posed as a teenager and offered to have sex with him for money. Now he's facing a number of felony charges.
Twenty-four-year-old Connor Cleland is facing charges of child prostitution after authorities say he tried to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex. Court documents show Cleland was talking with an undercover officer posing as a girl on a social media app between May 13 and 26. Cleland allegedly said he was only 16-years-old.
Detectives say during their conversation Cleland offered the officer $40 to have a sexual encounter. When Chandler Police arrested him on May 26, he had $40 in cash on him.
Cleland lives in Mesa, but no one answered the door when FOX 10 went to speak with him. He did work as an art and photography teacher at the high-achieving BASIS school in Scottsdale.
A school spokesperson issued the following statement: The alleged incident did not occur at BASIS Scottsdale, and the alleged minor involved is not a BASIS Scottsdale student. The faculty member has been terminated, and BASIS Scottsdale will cooperate fully in the police investigation.
Cleland also faced charges for pretending to be underage himself and for luring a minor for sexual exploitation.